The 5 Best Rags to Riches Movies, Ranked

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Rags to Riches movies: In contemporary culture, capitalism has a profound impact on people’s daily lives and worldviews. While some people struggle to provide for their families and afford the needs of life, others take pleasure in life’s little pleasures. It’s easier than ever to find evidence of class inequality wherever one looks these days. Everyone has an insatiable need for wealth, more money, and to rise above the rest.

But for individuals who aren’t as lucky as others, films can occasionally provide solace and a crystal-clear picture of what might have been if society—and life—had turned out differently. Overall, seeing someone go from the bottom to the top is enjoyable because it gives the impression that anything is genuinely possible. These movies, showing various walks of life and different time periods, showcase the American Dream in action, for better or for worse. Here are the best rags-to-riches movies.

Best Rags To Riches Movies

5. The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)

best rags to riches movies

The Wolf of Wall Street, a black comedic biographical film directed by Martin Scorsese and featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill in the key roles, is regarded as one of the best films of the 2010s. The life of stockbroker Jordan Belfort is followed, along with his incredible ascent and fall from grace, based on his memoir of the same name. Since Belfort was involved in Wall Street corruption and fraud, the narrative is narrated from his perspective. Watch on Paramount+

4. The Social Network (2010)

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Naturally, this list will conclude with yet another biographical film, this one a masterwork written and produced by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher. In The Social Network, Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, and Sean Parker recount the events leading up to the creation of Facebook, one of the largest social networks ever, as well as the lawsuits that followed. Purchase/Rent via Apple TV+

3. Goodfellas (1990)


Widely regarded as one of the best films ever made, Martin Scorsese’s epic crime drama Goodfellas is based on Nicholas Pileggi’s non-fiction book Wiseguy. It tells the story of the life and ascent to power of Henry Hill, a member of the Lucchese crime family, and stars the late, great Ray Liotta as the infamous criminal. In the highly anticipated gangster film, Liotta is accompanied by iconic Hollywood heavyweights Joe Pesci, Paul Sorvino, and Robert De Niro. Purchase/Rent on Prime Video.

2. Citizen Kane (1941)


The film Citizen Kane, directed by Orson Welles, is widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made for good reason. It portrays the remarkable rise of newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane (played by Jeffries) from a poor boy living in a Colorado boarding house to one of the wealthiest publishers and businessmen in the world. The acclaimed play from the 1940s centres on Kane’s ascent to fame and enormous wealth, which many thought was based on the life of William Randolph Hearst.

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Outraged by the negative portrayal of him in the film, media mogul Hearst launched an all-out attack on Welles, using his vast network and clout to force theatres to avoid showing the drama. This led to a great deal of controversy surrounding the film’s premiere. Hearst’s influence caused Citizen Kane to sink into film obscurity despite receiving nine Oscar nominations and critical praise. It wasn’t until more than fifteen years later that the film reemerged as the prestigious achievement that it is. Purchase/Rent on Prime Video

1. There Will Be Blood (2007)


In the epic period drama There Will Be Blood, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, acting chameleon Daniel Day-Lewis teamed up to deliver a superb adaptation of Upton Sinclair’s novel Oil! The decorated performer dazzled audiences as Daniel Plainview, a struggling silver miner who sets out on a merciless crusade to acquire wealth and power during California’s oil boom at the turn of the century. Daniel’s moral compass is weakened when he amasses a sizable wealth and establishes himself as a self-made billionaire. This is one of the best Rags to Riches Movies ever made. Watch on Paramount+

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The 5 Best Rags to Riches Movies, Ranked
The 5 Best Rags to Riches Movies, Ranked